Today is Small Business Saturday, and what better time to join me in committing to shopping local this holiday season?
Be sure to like the Shop Local South Milwaukee Facebook page and maybe …
- Buy gift certificates from some of our great local bars and restaurants, from Azteca to China Chef to Barbiere’s to Paisano’s to Muskie’s Gourmet House to Spirts Pub & Grill to the new Tap Room – and many, many more. How about giving the gift of burgers and custard at the beach, in advance of Ferch’s returning next summer?
- Local coffee makes a great gift from MKE City Sippers or Nomi.
- Give the gift of fitness and health at Moxie Fitness, the South Milwaukee Fitness Center, Sorce Martial Arts, Dowling Community Acupuncture, Drenzek Chiropractic … the list goes on.
- Buy one of the limited-edition South Milwaukee Community & Business Association holiday ornaments. This year, it’s the city logo.
- Games for Christmas? Absolutely! Shop downtown at Board Game Barrister or Pink Bunny Games for traditional family board games, Magic: The Gathering gear and more.
- Get a beautiful stained glass piece from Studio One Art Glass. (We have one hanging in every first-floor window of our home.)
- Buy some unique wood art from Larry Oleson, the man who built all of the Little Free Libraries this fall.
- And speaking of terrific wood pieces, Wolfgang Calnin, the retired high school choir director who owns Urbanwood Studio, also does one-of-a-kind work using rehabbed local wood, including the cool Ecophoniq smart phone speaker.
- Buy Rocket or South Milwaukee apparel from one of our downtown t-shirt shops, Styled Aesthetic or JB’s Tee Shirt Factory.
- Have a NASCAR fan in your house? Green Flag Racing downtown is the only store in the area (state?) focused on selling items only for auto racing enthusiasts (like me).
- Staying with collectibles, check out South Milwaukee-based MEARS Online Auctions, which has one-of-a-kind vintage sports gear, toys, and military items up for bid as we speak. Troy has also opened a military collectibles store at 723 Milwaukee Ave. (the former Voice Journal building), with the candy store to come soon.
- Like horror? Graveyard Records & Movie Maniacs bills itself as “the Midwest’s larger horror collectibles store,” and Dave’s store at 1013 Milwaukee Ave. doesn’t disappoint. This is very cool (and somewhat macabre) stuff you can’t get anywhere else.
- Shop at the South Milwaukee Christmas Market on Saturday, December 5. Around 90 local artisans are expected — 90!
- Give the gift of performing arts with tickets to an upcoming show at the South Milwaukee PAC.
- Nothing says “happy holidays” like jewelry, right? Jewelry from Donn Powers, that is.
- Pick up some holiday flowers or a centerpiece from Parkway Floral.
- How about antiques? Check out Memory Lane or Grandma’s Attic in the Fenno Building, 916 Milwaukee Ave.
- Buy a bandanna, jigsaw puzzle, notebook and other HANmade item — designed by South Milwaukeean Colleen McCarrier.
- Enjoy a children’s book from award-winning local author Janet Halfmann.
- Keep your vehicle running right with the gift of an oil change or three from a local car care center in our fair city.
- Cater your holiday meal from a local caterer like Emerald City or Charlie’s Catering.
- And don’t forget holiday beer, wine and spirits — I’ll put a plug in here for Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter, Blue Moon Gingerbread Spiced Ale, Redd’s Apple Ale or a nice Miller Lite or Coors Light — from local liquor stores Chicago Avenue Liquor, Marquette Liquor, King’s Row, G&K Liquor or BJ’s Liquor.
- Give the gift of golf this Christmas, with a free round or three at Grant Park or other county courses.
- Know a disc golf fan? Stop by Acetime Disc Golf.
- How about a VISA gift card from one of our local financial institutions?
- Get a loved one (or you) a new hair style, with a gift certificate from one of our local salons.
- And, finally, let’s not forget local chains, many of them owned by local franchisees — small business owners themselves. If you’re going to shop at a chain store this holiday season, please do so at places like Ace Hardware, Planet Fitness, Pick ‘n Save, Aldi, Cousins, Subway, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, Toppers, Walmart, Napa, Speedway, Walgreens and others that all our city home.
What did I miss? Post your comments below … and shop local!